I peel apart another boiled egg and slip its shell piece by piece into my bag. The air has been getting colder all morning. The man across from me keeps looking at his watch and it makes me nervous.
“Next stop, North Baker Street and Moeller Avenue.”
Every few minutes I know less of the world. Eggshell sticks to my fingers and the voices are getting smaller. I want to close my eyes again and again. It smells like burnt popcorn mixed with sweat and too many people are looking at their phones, then just past me.
“Next stop, Clinton Street and Moeller Avenue. Grover Terminal.”
Their faces are loose and bored at phones or at nothing. I pick away the last few crumbs of eggshell and wipe my face on my sleeve. The other boiled eggs rattle in their tupperware.
“Clinton Street and Moeller. Grover Terminal. Transfer point to routes 72 and 40.”
Brandon peers in the front window and I shrivel, hands in my lap. I look down and there is food clenched in the back of my throat. I don’t move. He is standing beside the driver, staring back past me.
“Hey, I’m just trying to find-”
“Are you going to buy a ticket?”
“No, I just need to-”
“I can’t have you on my bus if you’re not going to buy a ticket.”
I choke down another egg, fingers shaking to grasp the peel, and I can’t see him anywhere. We start again and I sob and gag with the egg still firm in my throat. I’m quiet again two blocks later, too afraid someone will notice me.
“Next stop, Alden Street and Stoke Boulevard.”
The stop is empty. I move to another seat and tie my arms around a standing pole. Somebody gets off, walks around to take a bike from the front and I twist my hands together looking out every window. We move again. I take breaths and rattle out another egg.